People celebrate in the streets with members of Guinea's armed forces after the arrest of Guinea's president, Alpha Conde. Photo: CELLOU BINANI/AFP via Getty Images
Guinea’s military junta has announced a framework for the West African country’s return to democratic rule – but have not yet outlined how long the transition will last.The move comes three weeks after nine soldiers, under the banner of the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development, successfully carried out a military coup that ousted President Alpha Condo. The group accused Condo – Guinea’s first democratically elected president – of overseeing the corrupt mismanagement of the country’s finances and claimed that his removal was necessary to stop the 83-year-old from securing a controversial third term in October, a move that was only made possible after the former president pushed through changes to the constitution last year.
After reports of heavy gunfire around the presidential palace in Conakry, the capital, on the 5th of September, the government tried to deny the military takeover, but images of the president surrounded by armed soldiers quickly spread across social media. Condo has remained under arrest ever since despite calls from regional leaders for his immediate release.In their first address to the country earlier this month, the junta, led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, promised to swiftly transition back to civilian rule. That plan was finally given shape this week with the announcement of a “transitional charter” that will see the military government lead a civilian cabinet until the junta decides when exactly to hold democratic election.The military has promised that its hand-picked, 81-strong cabinet will be made up of individuals from across civil society and that nobody who is selected will be allowed to run at the next presidential election. Work in the coming weeks, Doumbouya said, will also include the drafting of a new “inclusive” national constitution. Still, it remains to be seen whether the Doumbouya and other military leaders can be trusted to relinquish power in the near future. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the region’s powerful political union, has called for the vote to be held within six months as they move to place sanctions on the junta.